How Well Do You Know God?
God is no meaningless word or abstract "First Cause." He is a real Being with a magnificent personality!
If I were to ask you whether you know God, what would be your answer? Probably, yes.
Suppose I asked you a second question: Do you know God well? Then what would your answer be?
Christ, praying to God the Father, said: "Glorify Your Son, that Your
Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all
flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given
Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:1-3).
Did you grasp that? Knowing God is of supreme importance. It is life eternal!
the purpose of this article — to offer some specific steps all of us
can take to get to know God, and get to know Him well.
God is predictable
God is truly working with you — if He has directly intervened in your
personal life — you'll find that God is easy to get to know.
find that God is predictable. The better you get to know God, the
better you'll understand His attitude and actions in every circumstance.
In Paul's epistle to Titus, we read of "God, who cannot lie," (Titus 1:1-2).
there's a major characteristic of God: When you deal with Him, you know
He will always tell you the truth. He is totally predictable.
said, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30).
This is a clear indication of just how well God knows every one of us.
He knows us down to the finest detail!
God's people know Him
The great men and women of the Bible all knew God, and they knew Him well.
what David told Solomon: "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of
your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind;
for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the
thoughts" (I Chronicles 28:9).
David realized the importance of knowing God, and wisely advised his son to build a strong relationship with that great Being.
often talked about his relationship with God. His desire toward God was
"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10). Paul cast everything
else aside — everything else was worthless in comparison to knowing God.
too, like David and Paul, realized the importance of drawing close to
God in a personal way. Moses beseeched his Creator: "Now therefore, I
pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I
may know You" (Exodus 33:13).
Of course, Moses already knew God,
but he wanted to know Him better. Continue with verse 18: "And he said,
'Please, show me Your glory.' " Moses was, in effect, saying, "I want
to get to know you in a fuller and more complete sense." God responded
by allowing Moses a glimpse of His incredibly radiant and magnificent
God's unique characteristics
can you increase your awareness of God? One way is to consider some of
His unique characteristics. Although there are dozens we could discuss,
let's concentrate on just three basic elements.
The words describing
these three basic characteristics of God all begin with the Latin root
omni, which means "all" or "fulfillment of." Omni indicates the
completeness or perfection of God's characteristics.
The first one we'll look at is omnipotence. God can do anything.
had been a righteous man, and he knew God. But he didn't know God as
well as he should have. Job had to suffer intensely to learn a vitally
important lesson. Job finally told God, "I know that You can do
everything" (Job 42:2).
However difficult circumstances may be,
we must remember that God can do everything, and that He is working out
everything for our good (Romans 8:28).
The second characteristic of God we'll consider is that God is omnipresent.
said to the prophet Jeremiah: " 'Am I a God near at hand,' says the
Lord, 'and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret
places, so I shall not see him?' says the Lord; 'Do I not fill heaven
and earth?' " (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
Wherever you are, you have the opportunity to talk to God and get to know Him. God is everywhere.
Third, God is omniscient. The psalmist wrote: "He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name" (Psalm 147:4).
night, the naked human eye can see some 600 light years into outer
space. The world's largest and most powerful telescopes enable us to
see up to 7,000 light years away. But isn't it interesting, as
scientists look through their telescopes at things they previously
didn't know existed, that God already knows exactly where all the stars
are? God even knows the stars names! And God knows much, much more that
humans haven't even dreamed about. God knows everything that can be
known at this time.
Your relationship with God
is the real thrust of our discussion of God's tremendous
characteristics: Knowing God should make a tremendous difference in the
way we live.
Put more bluntly, if the way you live is not
tremendously different from the way of those who don't claim to know
God, then maybe you don't know Him! You may want to know Him, but the
fact that your life isn't drastically different from the way it was
before you came to know God makes a frightening statement. You are
responsible for what you know.
A different way of life
Let's reconsider what Job said to God:
have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me,
which I did not know . . . I have heard of You by the hearing of the
ear, but now my eye sees You' " (Job 42:3, 5).
Job thought he knew God well.
He didn't. But when, with God's help, Job realized this, he was moved to change.
has been defined as turning and going the opposite way from the way one
has been traveling. Job said, in effect: "Now that I see the truth, I'm
changing. I'm going to be different — I'm going the other way."
man and woman in the Bible who got to know God well had to change — go
the opposite way from the way the majority of the world goes. That's
the whole purpose of getting to know God — changing — repenting —
bringing your life into line with the perfect, abundant, happy way that
If your life hasn't changed, you don't really know God. How can we tell if we really know God — know His mind?
that Moses earnestly asked God, "Now therefore, I pray, if I have found
grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You" (Exodus
God answered Moses: "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" (verse 14).
Moses replied, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here" (verse 14).
In other words: "God, if you're not in it, we're not going."
what we have to say to ourselves: "God, if you're in this, I'm in it.
But if you're not in it, I don't want any part of it."
are making any important decision, whether it's marriage, selling
something, starting a business, moving or anything else it's vital to
do what Moses did. Make God a part of the decision. Fast and pray about
it. Search the Bible for instruction from God. Ask God to intervene
directly and give you guidance. Seek wise counsel. Strive to learn
exactly what God wants you to do, and then do that.
The more you know God and the better you know Him, the easier it will be for you to be sure of God's will in every situation.
You will be using — and acquiring — the mind of God.
the time you came to know God, how much change has there been in your
life? If it has been some time since then, there should be evident
However, if you have only been aware of God, like Job
in his former condition, but have not responded to Him, there won't be
that much that has changed in your life. We all need to be like Job in
his latter condition — we have to know that we know God, and know Him
It will make a vital difference in how we live, now and forever.
Four Ways to Know God Better:1)
Keep His law. God's law represents God's mind, character and nature.
John wrote, "He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4).
what God tells you to do. It is unreasonable to expect that you can
have a close relationship with God if you don't do anything He wants
you to do.
God's basic law of love is summed up in the Ten
Commandments. For an in-depth study of these overall laws of life,
request our free booklet The Ten Commandments.
Talk to God. Talk to God? About what? About everything. Is something
worrying you, threatening you, pleasing you, upsetting you, thrilling
you, disappointing you, occupying most of your thoughts? Whatever it
is, talk to God about it.
Men like Elijah and Jeremiah prayed to
God with familiarity and intimacy. And they were quite ready to ask
Him, "Why do you do it like this?" Jeremiah, very upset, talked to God
about it (Jeremiah 12). Paul told God when he was depressed, cast down,
These servants of God talked to Him with intimacy and
warmth. They knew Him, and He knew them. And their problems were
solved, not always in the way they wanted or expected, but always in
the best way.
And that's the way we should be. We're to talk to
God about everything. Whatever's on our minds. So that we can become
intimate with God. After all, you're talking to a friend, not a
Romans 12:12 says that we should be "continuing
steadfastly in prayer" — all day long, as situations arise and
decisions need to be made. It's an ideal way to build a relationship
with God. We also need to be communing daily with our Creator during
sufficient time specifically set aside just for prayer, on our knees.
If our prayers are heartfelt and sincere — if we boldly approach the
throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) — we will be heard.
Study God's Word. God's Word is His revelation about Himself, and the
more you study it, read it and talk about it, the better you'll get to
For instance, it would be a profitable study to consider
all the various names God calls Himself in the Bible, because they all
illuminate various aspects of what God is and does. God calls Himself
Elohim (a family name), God Almighty, the God of all the earth, the
Lord, the Provider, our banner, the Lord of peace, our righteousness,
our healer, the Ancient of Days and the Lord of Hosts. Studying God's
names would reveal God's characteristics.
Meditate on God's law. David said: "I will also meditate on all Your
work, and talk of all Your deeds" (Psalm 77:12). David was the king of
Israel, yet he often found time to meditate — to think on God's ways,
God's law and God's plan and purpose. David developed a deep awareness
and understanding of God because he thought and meditated on God's Word
and God's work.
And that's what we have to do. It takes time to get
to know somebody well. Take time to get to know God
By Francis J. Bergin The GOOD NEWS May 1984